Cortez Holds Onto Job
November 6 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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49ers place kicker Jose Cortez has managed to hold on to his job despite missing two field goals, one of them to win the game in regulation. Cortez finished the game in overtime with a chip shot field goal, but was 3 of 5 on the day, and a case can certainly be made that had the 49ers not won the coin toss, the outcome could have been vastly different.
Despite carrying two kickers on their 53 man roster, Cortez has held on to his job. He is 16/20 on the season, not having missed a single extra point, and he has only had one of those kicks blocked, so really Cortez, who hit thirteen in a row - a career best, has been doing a good job this season.
Where Cortez really struggles is on kickoffs though, where he just doesn’t have the leg strength to drive the ball into the end zone forcing touchbacks. The result is that opponents generally have pretty good field position when taking the field against the 49ers.
The 49ers need Cortez to get his confidence back, and start making field goals. It would also be good if he could start kicking the balls into the end zone on kickoffs. The 49ers have never been known as a special teams team, but with parity what it is today, and with the 49ers schedule as tough as it is, the 49ers need every advantage they can get.